The Fashion Magpie Glasses

Weekend Vibes, Edition No. 98: The One on Email Etiquette.

My Latest Snag: Salt Optics Glasses.

I went for my annual eye exam with my glasses in the saddest state of disrepair. Mini had messed with them to the point that they never quite laid flush against my face and were always a tad askew, on a mild diagonal across my nose bridge. I shrugged it off for the past few months as I only ever wear my glasses just before bed, while watching TV, and first thing in the morning, but — I was ecstatic to finally trade them in for a new pair. I had the most delightful exam and shopping experience at Eye Q Optometrists on the UWS and I had to gush in case there are local women seeking a new eye gal! The staff there are INCREDIBLE — extremely warm and welcoming, knowledgable, and thorough. I left and told Mr. Magpie it was one of the best shopping experiences I’ve had in the past decade, and I shop…a lot. Anyway, can’t say enough good things (and this is in no way sponsored — just trying to provide credit where credit is due). At any rate. I had intended to get my prescription and hightail it to the nearest Warby Parker, but then found myself highly distracted by the unique, under-the-radar labels Eye Q carried, mainly local and independent frames crafters. The sales gal was super patient and helpful as I tried on about 15 different frames, and we together whittled down the array of options to this chic pair from Salt Optics in the fossil grey. It was so unexpected; I was intending to buy a pair of tortoise shell beauties but these looked SO good on, complemented my coloring, and fit my face so beautifully. (This sales lady also nudged me to try a couple of shapes I wouldn’t have otherwise and I loved them all! Amazing taste!) Anyway, I am genuinely ecstatic about my new glasses and I can’t wait to pick them up next week.

You’re Sooooo Popular: Le Statement Sweater.

The most popular items on le blog this week:

+This two-tone sweater (heavily discounted).

+These chic two-tone mules.

+An Instagram filter, in bottle form.

+A stylish cropped sweatshirt.

+Monogrammed tissue box covers elevate any bedside table.

+Our new bathroom towels (love).

+My daily sunscreen.

+Shampoo and conditioner dispensers for the classy set.

+My favorite dress these days.

#Turbothot: Email Etiquette.

My mother is an even-keeled lady, but you do not want to be in her warpath after neglecting to respond to an email or return a phone call. To her, it’s incomprehensible and inexcusably rude that someone would read an email and decide to not address it promptly — even if only to acknowledge it and buy time until a more complete response can be issued.

I am much the same way, to the point that I find it difficult to focus on more important tasks when I have an inbox of emails waiting me. At a minimum, I need to organize and archive and tag the emails — but I usually try to respond to things as they come in unless they require more extensive thought/writing. (And you can bet I never leave an email from my mom unanswered.)

The other day, a friend of mine mentioned that she, like me, has set an intention to be more present this year. As a part of that, she said that she was determined not to feel guilty about letting certain things fall through the cracks. “Email, for example. If I don’t get to an email, oh well! Who cares? It’s not going to stop the world. If it’s important enough, they’ll call or re-ping me. Right?”

Hm. I saw where she was going and I nodded in agreement. I could see how “turning down the volume” on the significance of her inbox would create more time and space for her to live in the moment. Maybe we don’t need to hear a PING every single time a new email comes in after all. I once read that many successful CEOs and business leaders only check their emails three times a day: once in the morning, once at noon, and once before leaving for the day. The notion is that emails should not dictate the direction of our days, and that they are often more of a distraction than anything else; most of our time should be spent interacting with colleagues in the workplace or doing actual work.

But. But. But.

My mom’s voice was in my ear. If someone is taking the time to email you, you should return the courtesy. And I’m not talking about marketing emails or subscriptions or vague group emails with no clear “ask.” I’m talking about notes from friends and family members, inquiries from colleagues, even personally-directed sales pitches. (This latter category is especially difficult for me to come to terms with. I receive a ton of these via this blog — people trying to sell me products, services, and partnerships or asking me to feature their products and services. The former business owner in me says: “Just take the time to write a ‘No thank you.’ I learned the hard way that a quick no is far better than a slow maybe when it comes to sales — I don’t want to be clogging someone’s pipeline by virtue of unresponsiveness.” And the bitter former business owner in me says: “The number of non-answers I received when I was starting out is just the way of the world. And sometimes I don’t have the time or inclination to explain why featuring a male golf shirt or crafting beads is not the right fit for this blog. They should know their market better!”)

At any rate, I came to ponder the lines between making space for yourself — going easy on yourself, doing what you need to do in order to live your most fulfilled and focused life — and common courtesy. How do we weigh these things? While I am empathetic to and supportive of my friend, I find myself gravitating more towards my mother’s camp. Especially after I came to the relatively recent resolution to JUST PICK UP THE PHONE when it rings. I would hate to leave someone high and dry, or perplexed and confused by my irresponsiveness. In a recent Goop podcast, an expert in lying and speech patterns made the point that one of the cruelest things you can do to another human is “ghost” on them because humans are excellent at imagining. We are story-tellers by nature; we are hard-wired to not let things lie unresolved. We conjure extreme explanations when faced with silence. “She must be mad,” or “He probably read it and rolled his eyes,” or “He must think he’s above responding to this,” or “I must not matter to her,” or — in the world of online dating — “he must think I’m ugly,” or “she must have thought I was boring,” or “he must be sooo superficial” or “I am not enough.” I am guilty of filling in such blanks when an email goes unanswered myself. How can we not?

And so I think that if I get to the point where email is too much of an intrusion in my life, I will set up an auto-response or otherwise make it known that I check my emails very sparingly and that if something urgent needs to be addressed, a phone call or text is preferred.

What do you think? Am I too uptight on this front? Where do you draw the line?

#Shopaholic: Le Gingham Sandal.

+These sandals are SO adorable (and so heavily discounted).

+RDR earrings for UNDER $100!

+I’ve been hearing a lot about the idea of double cleansing your face at night — using two cleansers (or the same one, twice in a row) to truly scrub every last trace of the day off. I am in a long-term, committed relationship with my Tata Harper regenerating cleanser but am thinking of trying the double cleansing approach myself with a second product. I am super intrigued by the reviews of Indie Lee’s cleanser but feel as though it wouldn’t be exfoliating enough on its own. So maybe I’ll use it after my Tata, or Eve Lom’s cult-following face wash, which I’ve known about for maybe five years.

+THESE $56 VELVET BOW HEELS SPARK SO MUCH JOY. NEED.

+Khaite is such a hot label right now and I am sooo into the right now-ness of this blouse and this one, too (both on super sale!).

+Love this cozy cardigan.

+Pink rainboots for your mini.

+My favorite moto leggings, on sale!

+Well this is a steal. (AND CHICCCCC.)

+So very elegant.

4 Comments

  1. I think a 24-48 hour response window for email feels curtious, even if (per your mom’s point) it’s simply an acknowledgement. In my experience, especially with work email, waiting a few hours before responding yields a more thoughtful and complete response, rather than dashing off a note too quickly and missing some nuance about the scenario or alternate recommendation. For personal email I think the response time can be a bit longer, so long as the topic isn’t urgent – and it shouldn’t be, because email is the wrong channel for urgent communication anyway.
    I do think it’s generally amazing how quickly new ettiquite norms have formed around new social/communication channels (is there anything worse than an “ok” or God forbid “k” over text?), and it’s only natural that some friction occurs along the way.

    1. That’s such a good point, Claire — email shouldn’t be for “urgent” communication and therefore a day or two seems appropriate to me, too. And agreed on “k.” AHHH!!

  2. I think I fall more into your mom’s camp as well — in my opinion, personal emails require a prompt and courteous response. The business email equivalent of a cold call, though? That’s more of a gray area for me. But if it was an opportunity that didn’t interest me, I still think I’d fall towards the side of responding with a brief and civil “no, thank you”.

    In other news, I LOVE your new frames! I’ve worn glasses most of the time since I entered the workforce (…12 years ago…!!) and I agree that I like to have frames by smaller (New York) makers, rather than opting for Warby Parkers (which have become ubiquitous, at least where I live). Nothing against their business model, of course; I just prefer to have slightly more obscure frames! My current glasses are by Silver Lining Opticians — they have an amazing selection (both their own brand + other small brands) in their shop on Thompson Street in Soho. I’ve also had a lot of luck with Moscot frames in the past (and went to their LES location for many an eye exam).

    I haven’t tried double cleansing before — most days I barely wear makeup, and in my mind it would be most beneficial to someone who wears more of it — but am intrigued by that Indie Lee cleanser! I have been on a Glossier Milky Jelly kick lately … I know some people can’t stand the fragrance, but I don’t mind it. 🙂

    1. That’s a good point about cold calls — if someone is blindly reaching out to me and “invading” (wrong word?) my inbox, unsolicited, I’m not sure I “owe” a response. But as a former business owner I see the value/kindness in being clear about why I am not in their target market. So helpful to get that feedback and evolve/pivot the marketing. On the other hand, I have a very strong reaction to being solicited on the street. I find it one of the most rude things EVER. I know it’s not the fault of the person soliciting — often they are volunteering for a cause they care about OR earning virtually no money for their exhausting work, but I cannot stand being approached on the street and heckled. AH. It drives me insane. I hate that I am made to feel guilty/bad for saying “no thank you” or “I don’t have time” when they are the ones launching into something without being invited!

      Anyway, that’s a whole other can of worms but thanks for making me think…

      And thanks for the sweet words on my glasses! I don’t think I’ve been so excited about a purchase in a long, long time…

      xxx

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